After months and months of hearing how the Clippers were the best team in Los Angeles, the Lakers got the last laugh. Not only did they win the championship, but the Clippers didn’t even make it to the Conference Finals. While they arguably had the more talented team, the Lakers clearly had a more cohesive group of guys.
After the Clippers lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Denver Nuggets, the Lakers stayed pretty quiet. Now that they’re out of the bubble, that changed. Jared Dudley was on The Bill Simmons Podcast recently and threw some serious shade at the Lakers “rival.”
“We were laughing. We were laughing, in the sense like, ‘I can’t believe it,” Dudley said about the team’s reaction to the Clippers losing to the Nuggets. “I picked them to win Game 7. There was no way I thought they were going to lose. Our whole mind was, we gotta beat the Clippers. We want the Clippers. They wanted us. It was the trash-talking that happened.
Dudley then decided to go after Patrick Beverley, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.
“Pat Bev ‘check ball’ during the pandemic, ‘Playoff P’ talking about he the best — him and Kawhi,” he said. “Kawhi with the commercials, the crown, we’re seeing all these billboards up here. So when we go to practice every day, there’s a Kawhi billboard.”
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Not Much of a Rivalry
For so long, the Clippers have tried to be the better team in Los Angeles. During the Lakers’ down years, they had some really good talent but didn’t even sniff a championship. When Kawhi and George decided to join the team, many thought it was finally time for the changing of the guard.
Unfortunately for them, the Lakers aren’t bad anymore. They had LeBron James and Anthony Davis and proved to be the best team in the NBA last season. The Clippers have had plenty of chances to turn the Lakers matchup into a real rivalry but that’s not really the case. For it to be a rivalry, both sides need to win some important games. Once the Clippers are able to win a title, then they might have some room for trash talk.
Who Are the Favorites Next Season?
Even if the Lakers and the Clippers kept the exact same rosters from last year, the purple and gold have to be considered the favorites. Now, the Clippers could make a big splash this offseason. If they were able to pull off a trade for a superstar like Bradley Beal, then they’re going to be much more formidable.
However, as long as the Lakers have Davis and LeBron, they’re the favorites to win it all. The two men form the best duo in the NBA and are both top-five players. Unless the Clippers can somehow trade for Giannis Antetokounmpo, there’s no way they are going to have a better duo at the top.